Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Ah, youthful romance...

Two months ago my sister mentioned that someone had contacted her on and inquired about contact information for me.  Years ago our oldest brother was approached by a woman who wanted to contact our 2nd brother.  Senior blithely revealed the contact information.  Come to find out #2 had been successfully avoiding her for years and then big brother had outed him.  Massive disagreement.  So, all of us (at least the original 7) know that before revealing contact information, ask the significant sibling.
The inquiry was from the "boy" I had dated during college and my first year teaching in Newark, DE.  That was 48 years ago.  I have no idea why we stopped dating.  I know I moved South to North Carolina, once again, but my only reaction when I think of him is "Smiles".  Obviously, there was nothing traumatic in our parting.  At the time I thought I wanted to marry him.  How did I move from that to looking back and smiling about our relationship?  One of life's mysteries.
Anyway, I told her to tell him how to contact me (though I think if he googled my maiden name, he would find me--I must try that and see).  And the next week I got a request to "friend" him on Facebook.  So I did.  I mentioned this to my husband, the gruff New Yorker.  He said, so-o-o? He knows the way to quash a discussion!  And doesn't seem to think I'm planning to dash off in search of young romance (could I dash?  A moot point!). 

48 years....what is almost as unbelievable is that I was a college instructor at Appalachian State University in 1973-74 in the whoknows what the politically correct name of the department was--it went from library science to media studies to mumble, mumble.  That was 38 years ago.  I came back from my doctoral studies (hash tag pledge hell week) at UW-Madison.  I really enjoyed the people I encountered at Wisconsin.  The power structure, not so much.  Sigh!  I bailed when ASU called and asked me to return to teach media studies for elementary teachers and various courses in the library science majors program.   But I had more education than my master's degree professor and could have legitimately bumped her for our similar course strengths.  Talk about a palace uprising.  I was young and naive and still an adoring student.  Off with my head.  Unemployed, I found a temporary job as a general college advisor.  Of course, I recommended that the students avoid all of the tough grading professors.  Excuse me--I'm an advocate of the student, not the professor.  Not exactly a view supported by the university administration.  My point was do you want to stroke professors' egos or help students to navigate the system.  I voted for the students and once again was unemployed.  Surprise, surprise.  I then moved into the needlepoint business.

Why I mention this sad scenario is that I am now 70 and at 70.5 I must begin withdrawing a statistically determined amount from my IRAs.  Except that they are in 2 places and that complicates everything.  In an attempt to make this easier,  I have asked TIAA-CREF to transfer my holdings to my Florida IRA.  Except they are now asking for my dates of employment and date of termination.  Say what?  It was 37 years ago.  I am known for my memory, but trust me, it ain't that good. I could probably have guessed the year, but the month and day?  And give me a break--it's my SSN and I'm signing the request.  The gods of bureaucracy should just offer it up.  But no, we must all go through this painful dance. And, while the TIAA-CREF minions have transferred the funds that I contributed AFTER I was a professor, they are dawdling about letting go of the original contribution.  And who knew that it would grow so much over the years?  Obviously a good argument for contributing early to a retirement fund.

NOTE:  I did contact ASU, my former employer, and talked with a cooperative woman who said she would have to consult the microfiche.  Now, that is a word that really makes you feel old--microfiche.  How long has it been since any of us has seen one?  Anyway, she called back in about 45 minutes to give me the dates of my employment.  So the process is slowly becoming reality.

ADDITIONAL NOTE:  Well, there have been 3 checks transferred from my TIAA-CREF account to date,  but not surprisingly there is still a small remnant of my original contribution.  It's a great lesson that even the best managed funds seem to arrange things for the maximum amount of administrative fees.  So in my one account I have 4 separate divisions and, thus 4 separate fee entities.   So, now to see if I can pry loose this last small segment of my account.  It has only taken 2 months thusfar.  I'm glad I started this early before my required distribution.  A lesson to us all. 

Rug sale update:  Sold a standing  Mrs. Claus designed  by Trubey and 2 additional rugs.  Yesterday someone was looking through the pile of canvases and I took advantage of the opportunity to count them.  I had 75 yesterday so I started with 81 big and small rug and wall hanging canvases.  So we're now at 73. 


  1. I haven't been contacted by an old boyfriend, but I did get my act together and am combining my IRA's and Roth's. I have another year before I hit 70.5. I also had a TIAA-CREF account, but it was very recent, so haven't had the problem of transfering it. I woke up and relized how much those fees were costing and how the institutions were taking advantage of me. Everyone should take a close look at these accounts and decide if the returns are worth the cost of the fees. If they take them from your account, they eat into your principal and what good is that?

    1. Sad to say we innocents blithely ignore the reality of fees. Sorry to hear it also happened to you. Mary Agnes